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was shot and killed in his kandahar home today. a killer a bodyguard who taliban officials say they hired to infiltrate karzai's inner circle. this comes as a blow to the government just days after a visit from u.s. defense secretary leon panetta. we're joined by william cohen. thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> let me ask you about this assassination. some have said this will be a huge propaganda victory for the taliban. do youee? >> anytime they can get that close to the inner circle of president karzai it's a big victory for them. it points out the difficulty that president karzai has had in trying to cope with the local politics as such where all frequently invoking tip o'neill's axiom that all politics is local. we're seeing that all politics are local in afghanistan. that's one of the problems that president karzai has. secondly his brother has a reputation of being a power broker. most of our military leaders have said there's not a military solution in afghanistan it's a political one. it makes it that much more difficult. i think it's going to be more challen
with a friend with a k-47. he was a key power broker in the fight with the taliban. we're live from kabul. it's tuesday, july 12th. let's get right to the first reads of the morning. we start with the deadlock. this afternoon the two sides are farther apart than they've ever been. they were farther apart yesterday when -- then they were even sunday and farther apart sunday then they were thursday. the question is whether the daily meetings are going to continue. the president said he's shooting for the biggest possible deal and asking if not now, when. listen. >> we think it's hard now. imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of election season when they are all up. it's not going to get easier, it's going to get harder. we might as well do it now. pull off the band-aid. eat our peas. >> also in the room, eric cantor laid out what was agreed to in the biden talks, which is about $1.5 trillion in cuts, still nearly a trillion dollars short of the amount required to finance a debt deal through 2012. republicans said it needs to be dollar for dollar. the
, distant relatives. the taliban claimed responsibility saying they've worked with sadar mohammed for some time now. but many believe it could be because of a tribal feud which confuses everyone when it comes to afghanistan, because we have to remember there's more than just the taliban at play here. >> and mr. karzai's body was later hung over the streets in kandahar. can you put into perspective for viewers in the united states what his death means in that country? >> reporter: absolutely. when you look at awk, everyone has heard about his narco trading, possibly being involved in the narcotics trading, possibly being involved in the backhand tradings. but the u.s. and nato officials i've spoken to for the last few years here said they needed awk. he was a stabilizing factor in kandahar and that his death mrooefs leaves behind a strong power vacuum that many people are afraid of what exactly will fill that vacuum. a lot of people think it's going to be an even more dangerous power broker or the taliban. >> all right. thanks so much. we appreciate it. as always, we'll talk to you again so
in kandahar. word of his death spread, the taliban quickly took responsibility claiming they hired a hitman to carry out the killing, but u.s. officials are not so sure and are working to gather more intelligence. this afternoon, condemning in the strongest possible terms the killing of karzai. with more on these stories we're joined by msnbc's chief foreign corresponde correspondent in kandahar. what new details have you learned about the killing? >> reporter: we've spoken to witnesses in kandahar. we've also spoken to people who were at karzai's -- the person killed today, not president karzai, of course, his half brother, we spoke to people who are at the house, the residence in kandahar when this attack took place at around 11:00 this morning and the version of events as we were told were roughly as follows. there was a meeting of tribal elders under way that involved several dozen people. this is very normal for somebody in ahmed wali karzai's presence. someone who was a distant relative and worked for the karzai family about ten years. a man named sardar mohammed. he entered the meeti
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